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A Belfast legend worthy of its five-star setting, the Merchant Hotel’s gorgeous cocktail haven looks stunning with its original features, antique fireplace and Baccarat chandeliers – although
everyone is here for the mixology. The world-class list is presented in a ‘bar book’ of biblical proportions, collated by local expert Sean Muldoon, so take your time and pick what you fancy: the
melancholy punch is worth a go – a well-balanced long drink involving black cardamom tincture with rums, pineapple, lime and ginger. The martinis are textbook, and we would also recommend the
Lucien Gaudin (named after the 1920s Olympic fencer) – a delicate balance of Plymouth gin, Cointreau, Campari and Noilly Prat, with orange oils to cut through the alcohol. Service is efficient and
there are plenty of edibles too – from salads and sandwiches to macaroni cheese and braised lamb shank.
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